I help institutions and individuals organize, understand, and share observations and ideas about places; to understand how places work in their context; so that people can more effectively collaborate, make more informed decisions, and appreciate the quality of places as they are, as they were, as they change or may be changed. I have trademarked a short phrase that captures this mission: cultivating spatial intelligence. Lets take observations and ideas from multiple points of view and make them stick together in useful ways!

For more information email paulbcote@gmail.com

2022 is the Year of Organisms!

An organism is a structure of self-organizing patterns that are easily reproduced and adapted to new situations. The structure of information and behavior in an organism allows it to grow organically as a distinct system and through communication with other organisms.

In unicellular organisms, the ability of one cell to reproduce itself means the reproduction of a new individual; in multicellular organisms it means growth and regeneration.

Each of our current projects demonstrates a few ways that simple patterns that are easy to replicate can be formed into collections of observations of things and events that are spatially and temporally referenced.

Predictable patterns of entropy and decay can be blamed for the fact that our societal memory of places is preserved mainly in disconnected fragments. Although spatially referenced observations are routinely collected and may be formed into coherent city models and archival collections of documents related to buildings, it is difficult to put information from independent repositories together into coherent city model interfaces.

Organisms combine replicable patterns of organization into structures that defy patterns of entropy and decay.

Linking observations based on geographic references is a very strong orgizational pattern that humans have been practicing since 250 BC. Observaations linked in this way expose useful and interesting patterns in the way that things were related to eachother in the past. These patterns reveal new understanding of how things came to be the way they are, and how our environment might be arranged in the future.

2022 Highlights

2021 Highlights

2020 Highlights

2019 Highlights:

pbcGIS was invited to make a presentation to the Virtual Workshops on City Data Models sponsored by ISO/IEC JTC1 WG 11 on Smart Cities and the University of Toronto School of Cities.

Our collaboration with Cambridge Historical Commission is now named C-DASH (Cambridge Digital Architectural Survey and History) is creating a geo-referenced web searchable archive for 16,000 folders of historical information about each and every Cambridge building.

2018 Highlights:

City Model Lifecycle

Data Lifecycle in pbcGIS City Model Architecture

Boston Planning and Development Agency launched its city-wide 3d model. pbcGIS developed this model from various sources, and developed turn-key workflows for managing a collection of models for every building in the city, including historic buildings that don't exist any more through buildings that have been proposed, approved, rejected and undr-construction. pbcGIS also developed the tools for tiling the cyty-wide model into 1-kilometer square sketchup models that include detailed terrain, groundp-plan and buildings. This is very similar to the set-up we made for Cambridge, last year. Tomorrow the world!

The big idea behind these city-modeling projects is to provide a smoother interface between the world of urban design and development with the data-management culture of municipal GIS. When this succeeds, designers and planners in quickly-developing areas like Boston and Cambridge will have a common-operating-picture of the near-future city that includes projects that are in the design-review pipeline.

2017 Highlights:

2016 Highlights:

2015 Highlights:

Highlights from 2014

Selected Publications and Presentations on City Modeling and Information Architecture